Malvika Bansod and Lakshya Sen got off to winning starts in the Korea Open BWF Super 500 badminton tournament in Suncheon on Tuesday. The 20-year-old Bansod and World Championships bronze medalist Sen entered the second round after posting thrilling three-game victories.
Nagpur shuttler Malvika Bansod rallied splendidly to register a sensational 20-22, 22-20, 21-10 win over world No 24 Han Yue of China. The world No. 65 recorded perhaps the biggest victory of her career to launch her campaign in style on the first day of the competition.
The unseeded Indian started well and was ahead for most of the first game. She held four game points but she squandered them all as Yue earned the bragging rights.
After a change of sides, the left-hander once again dominated her Chinese opponent by taking a big 11-4 lead at the break. She maintained her lead and had three game points, but once again Yue caught up with her. However, this time, Bansod held firm, taking the second game 22-20.
In the third and deciding game, Bansod and Yue fought hard for each point. The scores were tied at 7-7 before Bansod raced ahead. The Indian, who trains under Sanjay Mishra, notched up nine successive points to establish a big lead. The Chinese ran out of steam in the third as Bansod booked her spot in the last 16.
Malvika Bansod to face Pornpawee Chochuwong of Thailand in second round
Malvika Bansod, who lost to PV Sindhu in the final of the Syed Modi Super 300 tournament in January, will take on sixth seed Pornpawee Chochuwong in the second round. The pair has clashed with each other twice before. The world No. 10 Chochuwong will enjoy a psychological advantage, having beaten the Indian girl twice last year.
The experienced Thai star beat Malvika Bansod in the Sudirman Cup and Uber Cup in 2021. So the Indian will have to raise the bar against Chochuwong on Thursday to emerge triumphant.
Lakshya Sen survives Korean scare in first round
Lakshya Sen staved off a spirited challenge from local hopeful Choi Ji Hoon before registering a 14-21, 21-16, 21-18 win in just over an hour in his opening round match.
The in-form Indian, who skipped the Swiss Open after reaching the finals of the German Open and All England Open last month, found the going tough against Choi.
The Korean kept things under control for most of the first game. After trailing initially, the sixth-seeded Indian clawed his back to 14-14. However, the Korean, ranked only 498 in the world, reeled off seven straight points to take a 1-0 lead.
Sen, a 20-year-old from Almora, though, regrouped well to win the next two games. The World Championship bronze medalist will now lock horns with Indonesia’s Shesar Hiren Rhustavito in the next round on Thursday.
However, it was curtains for Swiss Open finalist HS Prannoy, as he lost to Malaysia’s Cheam June Wei 17-21, 7-21 in 41 minutes.
Both Indian men’s doubles pairs bow out in first round
Both the Indian men’s doubles pairs crashed out in the first round. Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala lost 14-21, 19-21 to Pramudya Kusumawardana and Yeremia Erich Yoche Yacob Rambitan of Indonesia.
Similarly, Bokka Navaneeth and B Sumeeth Reddy went down 14-21, 19-21 to the sixth seeded Malaysian pair of Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi.
Indian Results (Round 1)
6-Lakshya Sen bt Choi Ji Hoon (Korea) 14-21, 21-16, 21-18 (62 minutes).
HS Prannoy lost to Cheam June Wei (Malaysia) 17-21, 7-21 (41 minutes).
Malvika Bansod beat Han Yue (China) 20-22, 22-20, 21-10 (56 minutes).
Krishna Prasad Garaga-Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala lost to Pramudya Kusumawardana-Yeremia Erich Yoche Yacob Rambitan (Indonesia) 14-21, 19-21 (31 minutes).
Bokka Navaneeth-B Sumeeth Reddy lost to 6-Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi (Malaysia) 14-21, 12-21 (33 minutes).
Indian players in action on Wednesday (Round 1)
5-Kidambi Srikanth vs Daren Liew (Malaysia).
3-PV Sindhu vs Lauren Lam (USA).
K Sri Krishna Priya vs 2-An Seyoung (Korea).
3-Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty vs Tae Yang Shin-Wang Chan (Korea).
MR Arjun-Dhruv Kapila vs Ba Da Kim-Hee Young Park (Korea).
B Sumeeth Reddy-Ashwini Ponnappa vs Jun Liang Andy Kwek-Yujia Jin (Singapore).